The L.O.O.T.M. Archive

Lust Object of the Month

November 2007

An in-flight photo showing the semi-elliptical wing planform.

This example was captured and tested by the Russians, and received favorable reviews.

The "Claude" was a pretty little aircraft.  Sadly, no flying examples survive.

One A5M3a was fitting with a 12-cylinder Hispano-Suiza 600 HP engine, completely changing the profile.

Precursor to the fabled A6M "Zero" was the A5M "Claude."  A contemporary of the Polikarpov I-16, the A5M was a highly maneuverable shipboard fighter for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The "Claude" was a compact fighter--24 feet long with a 36 foot span--and was powered by engines ranging from 550 HP - 785 HP depending on the model.  It boasted a top speed of 270 mph, and was armed with two .303 machine guns mounted in the top cowling.  With a gross weight of 3694 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio was quite high, yielding good overall performance including vertical maneuvering.

The "Claude" was also a pretty, well-proportioned aircraft.  The semi-elliptical wing planform is complex to build, but aerodynamically efficient and ascetically beautiful.  It would also be used by such aircraft as the P-47 "Thunderbolt," the Heinkel He-112, the "Tempest" and "Sea Fury" and, of course, the immortal "Spitfire."